Date: April 27, 2008
About: Thomas Oakley - Class of 1950
Oakley Accepts Pioneer Award from Broadcasters Foundation
Thomas A. Oakley, president and CEO of Quincy Newspapers Inc., has received the Ward L. Quaal Pioneer Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
The award was presented during the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention earlier this month in Las Vegas.
The award honors outstanding contributions to the radio and television industry through stewardship in broadcasting in the interest of the community at large.
Oakley is the fourth generation of his family to be actively involved in the company, which he has served full time for 54 years. He joined QNI full time in 1954 and was named to his current position in 1969.
At that time, in 1969, QNI operated three properties - WGEM-TV, WGEM-AM-FM and The Herald-Whig, all in Quincy, Ill. The company expanded under his direction and currently owns and operates 12 television stations, two radio stations and two newspapers. QNI employs more than 1,100 people serving viewers, listeners and readers in 14 states.
QNI has been a leader in the introduction and use of broadcast technology. QNI launched the area's first FM radio station in 1947, started the first television station in Quincy in 1953 and helped build the first cable television system in Quincy in 1963.
Oakley has been very active in newspaper and broadcast industry groups. He has received numerous industry and community honors, including the Vincent Wasilewski Award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association for a lifetime of excellence in broadcasting, and last year, the Chuck E. Sherman Television Leadership Award for lifelong leadership, community service and commitment to local television.
Oakley has served on the boards of many community institutions and organizations, and he has been honored with numerous awards for his service.
He has been particularly involved for many years in promoting regional economic development and transportation infrastructure across the Midwest in regions served by QNI broadcast properties.